Cracks have emerged in a special parliamentary committee set up to probe seven cabinet ministers allegedly involved in K236 billion cashgate and 27 companies involved in farm input subsidy program as two committee leaders disagree which work should be prioritised.
Deputy chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of parliament Kamlepo Kalua says the priority is the probe of seven cabinet ministers.
“This issue is a matter of priority, it has stalled for long,” said Kalua.
He promised civil society groups, who made a protest march last week, that finally, parliament would start probing the ministers.
Kalua received a petition from protesters in which, among others, it accused the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) led government of playing hide and seek with names and individuals that looted public resources amounting to K236 billion.
However, Joseph Chidanti Malunga, chairperson of the joint committee of the Public Accounts Committee and Agriculture committee of parliament wants the parliamentary inquiry to start with the probe on the 27 companies in farm input subsidy program (Fisp).
“We will meet next week as a joint committee to decide on which item should be tackled first,” he said. He said the two committee members will make a decision on which item to prioritise against another. The inquiries would be live on Times TV where people will for the first time see the suspected cabinet ministers being grilled by the joint committee.
President Peter Muthaarika has dismissed the decision to probe his cabinet ministers as witch hunt.